Ok. So I've been thinking about this for a little over a year now, but...drumroll...
I'm going to eat eggs and use honey.
After being vegan for five years, and ascribing to the whole lifestyle, I've come to the realization that it's not as practical and/or environmental as I once thought. I boycotted the factory farm and CAFO model because the animals who are raised in that environment are miserable, and, I still remain a staunch opponent. But, having worked on an organic farm, engrossed myself in studies on and about the local, sustainable and organic food movement, I know that small, regional and sustainable ("beyond organic") farms treat their animals with respect and still ascribe to the "ahimsa" - do no harm - mantra central to the vegan ideology, without even acknowledging it. In short, it's common sense and second nature.
For me, I'd rather eat an egg from a hen that I know is happy than use powdery egg replacer made of a million ingredients of which I don't know their country of origin. Or, use honey from a local apiary than agave shipped from thousands of miles away. This doesn't mean scrambled eggs or honey-sweetened foods everyday, but I can incorporate them into my life without feeling an enormous sense of guilt.
What should I call myself now - vegetarian? Ovoterian? Vegan-ish (still can't eat dairy - allergic)? Do I need a label? For now, the only additions to my diet will be only local eggs and honey from farms that I know and that need our support if we are to ever a truly sustainable, socially and environmentally conscious food movement.
Any former vegans out there? I'd love to hear your story!